The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 31 July 2008
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Reminder to Parties.Caution about new Ramsar sites for COP10. Parties that are planning to designate new Wetlands of International Importance for announcement at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Changwon, Republic of Korea, 28 October – 4 November 2008) should make a point of completing and submitting their site designation paperwork well in advance of the COP. Here's why. [31/07/08]
Training opportunities. MSc course in management of protected areas. The University of Klagenfurt in Austria offers a Master of Science programme in the management of programme areas, structured over four terms organized in nine modules that require a total of 70 days of course attendance either in classes in Klagenfurt or on field excursions to selected protected areas around Europe. The language of instruction is English. The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is represented on the advisory board of the programme. The next session begins in September 2009 and the deadline for applications is 30 June 2009. In the meantime, here is an illustrated article about the course provided by programme organizers. Please respond directly to the addresses contained in the article. [30/07/08]
News from CREHO.New Technical Officer. Eric Flores De Gracia, who is joining the CREHO Team as the new Technical Officer, is an Agricultural Engineer (Technological University of Panama ), and has a Masters Degree in Biodiversity Management in the Tropics (San Pablo University CEU-Spain) and an M. Sc in Aquatic Science and Marine Resources Management (National Taiwan Ocean University). Before joining the CREHO Team, he worked as Chief of Investigation and Coordinator of the Experimental Stations of the Panamanian Authority for the Aquatic Resources (ARAP). He has research experience on pigmentation strategies in aquatic animals, color expression and ecological relationships; alternative uses of biodiversity (i.e., ecotourism, rearing in captivity of aquatic species); management of natural resources in hydrographic river basins, especially the water-vegetation-soil use relationship in mountain forests; as well as environmental education for conservation and ecotourism. See the new issue of the CREHO newsletter INFOWETLAND here. [30/07/08]
Tobias Salathé, Senior Advisor for Europe, is taking part in an international Danube Delta advisory mission, in collaboration with the EC, the CoE, UNECE, and others, to Kiyv, Odesa, and the Kiliyske Mouth Ramsar site in the Ukraine, in follow-up to Ramsar Advisory Mission no. 53, 28-31 July 2008. [24/07/08]
Headline story. India's most important wetlands described. A news note from the BirdLife International Web site: "A new and monumental book details more than 100 Indian wetlands that campaigners believe desperately need protection from pollution, development and other forms of misuse. The 560-page tome describes 160 coastal and freshwater sites only 25 of which have been classified under the international Ramsar wetland treaty. . . . The authors, Zafar ul Islam and Dr Asad Rahmani of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS, BirdLife in India) call these wetlands India’s “liquid treasures.” They add in the book’s preface: 'The 25 Ramsar sites in India do not represent even a fraction of the diversity of wetland habitats existing in the country.' Here is the rest of BirdLife's review. [28/07/08]
World Heritage adds two new Ramsar sites. At the recent 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee, meeting in Québec, Canada, 3-10 July 2008, amongst the new additions to the World Heritage List were two natural properties that include Wetlands of International Importance within them. The World Heritage site “Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan” (450,344 hectares) covers basically the same features as does the “Tengis-Korgalzhyn Lake System” Ramsar site (353,341 hectares), first designated by the Soviet Union in 1976 and recently confirmed by Kazakhstan in May 2007. The World Heritage site “Socotra Archipelago” off the coast of Yemen includes within it the much smaller Ramsar site on Socotra Island that is tentatively called “Detwah Lagoon” as the Secretariat awaits further information from Yemen following that country’s accession to the Convention earlier this year. Fact sheets on the new World Heritage natural properties can be found at http://cms.iucn.org/news_events/news/index.cfm?uNewsID=1262. A list of Ramsar sites that are also all or partly World Heritage properties can be seen here. [25/07/08]
Now available.COP10 draft Resolutions. The Secretariat is pleased to announce the availability of all of the draft Resolutions approved by the Standing Committee for consideration and possible adoption at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, which, according to the current Rules of Procedure, must be made available to the Parties three months prior to the opening session of the COP. A CD-ROM containing the draft Resolutions is being sent to all of the Parties by diplomatic notification as well as to the Administrative Authority in each country.
Each of the 31 draft Resolutions can be found in the three working languages of the Convention – English, French, and Spanish – and in HTML, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Acrobat PDF formats. Additional COP documentation besides draft Resolutions, including regional and global implementation reports and supplementary information from the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) in support of some of the draft Resolutions, will be appearing on the Web site as they are completed and will be distributed (with the draft Resolutions) on a second CD-ROM in September 2008. [25/07/08]
Wetlands International - China appeals for earthquake support. In a note to the Ramsar Forum, Chen Kelin, head of Wetlands International - China, describes the destruction caused by the recent earthquake in southwestern China and outlines the organization's plans to help in the reconstruction of a school in Wen Country, Gansu Province. A fund has been set up for donations, and all of the details are available here. [25/07/08]
Coming soon – The world’s largest Ramsar site. As the Environmental News Service, WWF, and others are reporting today, the Democratic Republic of Congo is in the process of designating what will be the largest Wetland of International Importance in the world, the Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe complex covering some 6,569,600 hectares. Technical assistance and financial support for the preparation of the technical data for this designation have been provided by WWF International, Ramsar, and a USAID programme for Central Africa’s environment. The designation formalities and technical paperwork have not yet been completed by the DR Congo authorities, but as soon as that has been accomplished further details on the wetland complex will appear on the Ramsar Web site as well. [24/07/08]
Mangrove Action Day, 26 July. “Dear Friends, This is an alert that Mangrove Action Day is coming up on July 26th! Please act now to organize a local event, or take action in your area to conserve and restore mangroves. For those able, please also help support MAP's work or the work of local NGOs near you in increasing both the momentum and effectiveness for mangrove conservation and restoration worldwide. For the Mangroves, Alfredo Quarto, Mangrove Action Project.” http://www.mangroveactionproject.org/. [23/07/08]
World’s wetlands could be a ‘carbon bomb’. “The world’s wetlands, threatened by development, dehydration and climate change, could release a planet-warming 'carbon bomb' if they are destroyed, ecological scientists said on Sunday. Wetlands contain 771 billion tons of greenhouse gases, one-fifth of all the carbon on Earth and about the same amount of carbon as is now in the atmosphere, the scientists said before an international conference linking wetlands and global warming. If all the wetlands on the planet released the carbon they hold, it would contribute powerfully to the climate-warming greenhouse effect, said Paulo Teixeira, coordinator of the Pantanal Regional Environment Program in Brazil. ‘We could call it the carbon bomb,’ Teixeira said by telephone from Cuiaba, Brazil, site of the conference. ‘It’s a very tricky situation.’
Some 700 scientists from 28 nations are meeting this week at the INTECOL International Wetlands Conference at the edge of Brazil’s vast Pantanal wetland to look for ways to protect these endangered areas.” – Read the full article by Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters, on truthout: http://www.truthout.org/article/wetlands-could-unleash-carbon-bomb. [23/07/08]
AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award 2008. Bonn, 17 July 2008 – Mr. Mark Anderson in the Individual Category and OMPO (Oiseaux Migrateurs du Paléarctique Occidental) in the Institutional Category are the winners of the 2008 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award. The award, which recognizes contributions to the conservation, research and monitoring of migratory waterbirds, as well as support to the development of the Agreement, will be presented at the opening ceremony of the 4th session of the Meeting of the Parties to AEWA on 15 September 2008 in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The two winners were selected because of their particular activities and achievements, contributing to the development of the Agreement, the conservation of waterbird species and their habitats, the management of human activities, research and monitoring as well as education and information. Full details are available on the AEWA Web site. [21/07/08]
Vacancy announcement.Asian Waterbird Census International Coordinator. "Dear all, Wetlands International is now seeking applications for the position of Asian Waterbird Census International Coordinator. The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) forms part of the International Waterbird Census (IWC), a global programme coordinated by Wetlands International since 1967. The AWC was launched in 1987 and has grown considerably in geographic coverage and participation." -- David Li, Wetlands International - Malaysia. The full announcement is available here. [21/07/08]
Colombia names 4th Ramsar site. The government of Colombia has designated Sistema Lacustre de Chingaza (4,058 hectares, 04°30’N 073°45’W), part of the Chingaza National Natural Park in the central highlands, as its fourth Wetland of International Importance. As described by Mila Llorens, based on the RIS data, the site is a complex of lagoons and wetlands that supply water to the capital city, Bogotá. Located in the Northern Colombian Andes between 3,050 and 3,950m a.s.l., this region supports one of the dampest páramos of the country and is a center of particular endemism which has been the refuge for more than 400 flora species and 500 fauna species, some of them endangered and others which have not yet been totally identified. The complex is formed by 20 lagoons and is of great importance for migratory birds. Among the species found under special protection, at national as well as international levels, the following mammals are noteworthy: Tremactus ornatus, Mazama rufina bricenni,Tapirus pinchaque and Tapirus terrestris, and among the flora: Espeletia grandiflora, Podocarpus oleifolius, and the palm genus Xeroxilum. The high andean lakes also have great pre-colombian ceremonial significance.
Colombia’s designation of this important new Ramsar site was assisted by the NGO Fundepáramos, with financial support from the IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands, and by the staff of the Chingaza National Park. Español. [18/07/08]
High Andean Workshop results. The V Workshop of the Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of High Andean Wetlands, organized by the Colombian Government, through the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development, and the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) was held in Bogotá, Colombia from 25-27 June 2008. The main objective of the V Workshop was to present the financial priorities in its Action Plan for implementation, launch of a video clip and make the preparations for its presentation in the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, from the 28th of October to the 4th of November. Here is a brief illustrated report in PDF format.[17/07/08]
El V Taller de la Estrategia Regional de Conservación y Uso Sustentable de Humedales Altoandinos organizado por el Gobierno de Colombia a través del Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial y la Secretaria de Ramsar (Ramsar, Irán, 1971) tuvo lugar en Bogotá, Colombia del 25-27 de Junio. El propósito del taller fue presentar las prioridades para financiación en el marco de su Plan de Acción, hacer el lanzamiento de su video clip y definir los preparativos para su presentación en el marco de la décima Conferencia de las Partes Contratantes, que se llevará a cabo en Changwon, República de Corea, del 28 de octubre al 4 de noviembre de 2008.Español.
Le journaliste tour Danone-Evian 08. Du 30 juin au 3 juillet dernier a eu lieu à Evian le journaliste tour 08 ; rencontre organisée par Danone-Evian.Une soixantaine de journalistes internationaux provenant des Pays-bas, de l’Autriche, des USA et de l’Asie, avec des représentants de Singapour et tout particulièrement de la Chine, avaient été invités. Lors de cette première journée, consacrée au développement durable, Ramsar a présenté les enjeux et défis liés à la protection de l’eau et en particulier aux zones humides, ainsi que son partenariat avec le secteur privé. Rapport. [15/07/08]
Danone-Evian journalist tour 08. In a meeting organized by Danone-Evian, 30 June-3 July 2008, in Evian, France, about 60 international journalists from the Netherlands, Austria, the USA, and Asia, with representatives of Singapore and particularly of China, participated in the “journalist tour 08”. During the first day, which was devoted to sustainable development, Ramsar staff presented the issues and challenges related to water protection and in particular to wetlands, and explained its partnership with the private sector. Ramsar's Nathalie Rizzottireports.
High altitude Ramsar site in Ecuador. The government of Ecuador has designated its 13th Wetland of International Importance, effective 25 June 2008. As characterized by Ramsar’s Mila Llorens, based on the accompanying data sheet, Complejo Llanganati (30,355 hectares, 01°06’S 078º21’W) is a complex of lagoons of glacial origin, situated between 2,960m and 4,571m a.s.l. and fed by rivers and seasonal floods, as well as swamps and extended peatlands associated with different types of vegetation, which gives them particular characteristics. They are an important source of water for the nearest populated areas. It is habitat to more than 14 flora species found in the IUCN Red List, such as Draba aretiodes, Siphocampylus asplundii, Gentianella jamesonii which are endangered, as well as others which are categorized as vulnerable. The complex belongs to the Tropical Andes Hotspot, said to be the richest and most biodiverse region of the planet, which includes a sixth of the plants of the Earth in 1% of the territory. It holds a number of endemic flora and fauna species, as well as migratory birds. The site is listed under IUCN Management Category II (National Park) and became a BirdLife International ‘Important Bird Area’ in 2005.
WWF International’s Freshwater Programme assisted in the preparations for this important designation, through the good offices of WWF Colombia, as part of a contribution to the Ramsar regional initiative on High Andean Wetlands. [14/07/08] Español.
Vacancy announcement.Global Water Partnership. "Global Water Partnership (GWP) is seeking an Executive Secretary. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, the Executive Secretary will be a charismatic and strategic leader who can take the organization forward into its next strategy period with a focus on the contribution of water to social and economic development, and with attention to climate change adaptation in our changing world. The Executive Secretary should have at least 10 years of experience in management at senior level including working experience with major aid agencies/organizations and/or other international organizations. The full position description and application procedures are available on the GWP website: www.gwpforum.org. The closing date for applications is 10 August 2008. We would appreciate your help and support in spreading the vacancy within your network." [14/07/08]
A new type of Ramsar site in the making. What comes to your mind when reading the word "Armagnac"? A world famous brandy? Gentle slopes with varied cultures in a rural area of southwestern France, famous for its culinary traditions? Or an agricultural landscape embedded in a web of heaths, woodlots and fish ponds? Perhaps you should focus on the latter as key for sustainable development in this area. The Armagnac Ponds retain freshwater for irrigation and to water the cattle. The ponds absorb excessive floods, capture sediment and nutrient flows. The ponds provide abundant fish resources. And the regional biodiversity hotspots are linked to the ponds, especially where surrounded by shallow riparian zones, flood prone meadows, and wet forest parts. Ramsar’s Tobias Salathé visited the area recently to confer with the local people about designation for the Ramsar List, and here is his brief illustrated report. [11/07/08]
From the Ramsar Forum.Call for papers: 11th International Wildlife Law Conference. “Dear colleagues, The Eleventh International Wildlife Law Conference will be held at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, on March 26-27, 2009. The conference panels, which offer many opportunities to discuss wetlands, will focus on: 1. Ecosystem Approaches to Protecting Wildlife; 2. Ecotourism: Sustainable Practice or Loving Wildlife to Death?; 3. Biofuels and Biodiversity; 4. The Convention on Biological Diversity at Age 15; 5. The Record of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. If you would like to present at the conference, please send an abstract to me at firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience. Thanks, Roy.” -- Royal C. Gardner, Professor of Law and Director, Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida, USA. [11/07/08]
Peatlands and Climate Change. The human impact on global climate and the role of peatlands in this process has been widely studied and debated in media, but also within a scientific audience and peatland experts during recent years. The recently published book "Peatlands and Climate Change", edited by Maria Strack, is the outcome of the work of an expert groups set up by the International Peat Society almost three years ago. It summarizes the currently available knowledge on climate change processes and the role peatlands play in this phenomenon. It can be obtained online at www. peatsociety.org for 22 € including mailing costs. The IPS believes that this new publication will be a valuable addition to the growing literature on peatlands and their conservation and wise use. [11/07/08]
Sad News. Ms Miriam Zacharia. It is with sorrow and regret that the Ramsar Secretariat learnt of the passing away of Ms. Miriam Zacharia, former Ramsar National Focal Point in Tanzania, who died on 3rd July 2008 in a plane crash at Monduli, in Arusha. Miriam has lost her life while serving a cause she really believed in. Miriam was a leading light in promoting the wise use concept of wetlands in her country. She was involved with the Convention for more than ten years and has initiated and led several Ramsar projects in Tanzania, and she played an instrumental role in the recently concluded Ramsar Advisory Mission conducted in her country a couple of months ago regarding Lake Natron.
The Ramsar Convention and the government of Tanzania have lost somebody who has dedicated her life to conservation and wetlands issues. It is our sincere hope that the good work started by Miriam will be carried forward. Our thoughts and prayers are with Miriam's family, to whom we express our deep condolences on this very sad occasion. [08/07/08]
Vacancy Announcement.Senior Policy Officer/Campaigner for the WWF-Danube Carpathian Programme, based in Vienna. WWF, the global conservation organization, is seeking to recruit a full time position for a dynamic and highly motivated person to lead and promote our policy and campaign activities throughout the Danube River Basin. The Senior Policy Officer/Campaigner will continue WWF’s successful lobby work on integrated river basin management with the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), with national governments in the Danube river basin, as well as vis-à-vis EU institutions. Deadline 1 August 2008. Further details and terms of reference here. [07/07/08]
Vacancy announcement. Ramsar opening for Intern for Asia/Oceania. The Ramsar Secretariat welcomes applications for the position of Intern/Assistant Advisor for the Asia /Oceania Region, a 12-month posting (possibly extendable to up to 18 months) at the Ramsar Secretariat in Switzerland to begin in early December 2008. With an upper age limit for applicants of 30 years old, the post offers an opportunity for young graduates to become acquainted with the workings of an intergovernmental treaty dealing with the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Candidates for this internship should be nationals of countries in Asia/Oceania and have lived most of their lives in the region (which extends from the Middle-East, Asia to Oceania). Full ability to work in English, both written and spoken, is required for this post. Prospective candidates: please view the General Terms of Reference for Ramsar internships (also available from the Secretariat), which includes conditions of service and salary structure, and send the application form (Word, PDF) attached to the General Terms of Reference, a covering letter explaining your interest in an internship with the Ramsar Secretariat and your future career goals, your CV, as well as two letters of reference from your previous supervisors or dean of the faculty where you carried out your studies, to email@example.com. The deadline for applications is 8 August 2008. [04/07/08]
New face for the Ramsar Sites Information Service. Ellen Diémé reports that the Ramsar Sites Information Service, which is operated by Wetlands International and based on the Ramsar Sites Database also maintained by WI, has a new easier-to-use organization and "look", and a new address: http://ramsar.wetlands.org/. Ellen notes that "there is more information for Parties on it (under supporting tools), and hopefully during the next months results/outputs of analyses concerning distibution and gaps of certain wetland types (such as peatlands) within the Ramsar site network will be presented as well in reports, tables, and maps." [04/07/08]
From the Ramsar Forum.Views on application of the Montreux Record.Bill Phillips, former Deputy Secretary General of the Convention, writes: “I am interested to hear the views of Forum members on the issue of when a Party should exercise its voluntary option to place a site on the Montreux Record. The situation where this has arisen relates to a large Ramsar site in Australia (the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert) which has undergone significant change in ecological character over the past decade in particular.” Bill describes the background and asks whether different Parties have different interpretations of the purpose and value of placing such a site on the Montreux Record. Here is his message, with a reply from his predecessor Michael Smart. [04/07/08]
Headline story.Italy removes Molentargius from the Montreux Record. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that Italy has completed the formalities for the removal of one of its Ramsar sites that has been on the Montreux Record of sites “where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur” for quite a few years. According to documentation provided by the Administrative Authority in the Ministry of the Environment and Territory and the Sea, managers at “Stagno di Molentargius” have made substantial progress in resolving the problems for which the site was added to the Record in 1990, and after consultations with the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) it has been removed from the Record as of 2 July 2008. Monica Zavagli provides more details and a link to the MR Questionnaire here. (Photo left: http://www.parconaturalemolentargius.it/) [02/07/08]
New staff for Ramsar Centre in Iran.Yasaman Rajabkhah, Executive Director of the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research in West and Central Asia, informs us that Ali Aghili has been selected as the new Communication Officer at the Centre, and Ms Atefeh Anbarsouz will be the new Technical Officer. More details here. [02/07/08]
Vacancy announcement.IUCN seeks Marine officer for Malaga. “The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation in Malaga, Spain, is seeking a new staff member with immediate effect to join the IUCN programme. This challenging and interesting staff position arises within the IUCN Office located in the Parque Tecnologico, Campanillas near Malaga, Spain. The Marine Conservation Programme Manager will be responsible for developing and implementing a programme of work at Mediterranean regional level to deliver the IUCN programme of work in partnership with other organisations, working particularly closely with the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan, the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (Tunis), as well as other relevant regional partners. The programme will be implemented jointly with the IUCN Global Marine Programme based in Gland, Switzerland, and with global and regional members of IUCN Commissions’ (WCPA, SSC, etc.) members in the region. The Marine Conservation Programme Manager will handle a portfolio of project activities for which she/he will be responsible.” See the full announcement here (PDF). [01/07/08]
Closing Workshop of the Menasra dialogue. The closing workshop of the MedWet Project Dialogue on Water in the MENA Region for Morocco took place on May 28 with the partipation of MedWet Coordinator Adnan Budieri and MedWet Policy Advisor Nejib Benessaiah. Nejib Benessaih reports: "On 28 May at the Wilaya of Kenitra, Morocco, more than 100 participants attended the National Workshop of the Menasra Dialogue including mayors, public administration representatives, farmers, national and international experts. After a brief introduction by the Wali of Kenitra, the four Presidents of the Rural Communities of Menasra, Souk El Had, Ouled Ayed and Sid Lahmar undersigned the final Agreement on the wise use of water resources of the Menasra basin." Further details here. [30/06/08]
Caution about new Ramsar sites for COP10. Parties that are planning to designate new Wetlands of International Importance for announcement at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Changwon, Republic of Korea, 28 October – 4 November 2008) should make a point of completing and submitting their site designation paperwork well in advance of the COP. Here's why. [27/06/08]
Republic of Korea names intertidal flats. The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Korea, host country for the next meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Changwon, 28 October-4 November 2008), has designated an important wintering stop for migratory birds along the East Asian-Australasian flyway. As summarized by Ramsar’s Pragati Tuladhar, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet, Muan Tidal Flat (3,589 hectares, 35°06’N 126°23’E), a Wetland Protected Area, is an intertidal sand- and mudflat ecosystem, largely free of human disturbance, on the coastline of the Yellow Sea, located in the mouth of semi-enclosed inner bay. Some 49 species of winter waterbirds have been observed, and the site provides habitat to various endangered and rare species such Saunder’s Gull (Larus saundersi), Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) and Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes). It is a notable spawning ground for marine organisms, with some 357 species recorded, providing valuable food resources for the migratory birds. A ‘reclamation’ with small-scale sea dyke constructions was carried out for the development of Woldoo village fishing port, but detrimental effects have not appeared so far. A comprehensive management plan has been in effect since 2002, implemented by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF), and a number of monitoring programmes are continuing. [26/06/08]
Small change in the Ramsar List.Austria remeasures key Danube site. Austria has recalculated the area, using GIS techniques, of the Donau-March-Thaya-Auen Ramsar site, resulting in an area of 36,090 hectares instead of the former estimate of 38,500. The site, now renamed by the addition of "Thaya", is part of the "Trilateral Ramsar Site Floodplains of the Morava-Dyje-Danube Confluence" Transboundary Ramsar site with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Austria now has 19 Ramsar sites covering 119,962 hectares. [26/06/08]
Headline story.Serbia names riverine Ramsar site. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Republic of Serbia has designated its 9th Wetland of International Importance. As described by Monica Zavagli, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet, Zasavica (1,913 hectares, 44°56’N 019°32’E) is a Special Nature Reserve and BirdLife IBA located in northern Mačva, a riverine ecosystem that dominates the area south of the river Sava, with the rivulet Zasavica and its tributary the Batar, for a total length of 33 km. Aquatic and swampy ecosystems line up along with fragments of floodable meadows and forests representing one of the last preserved pristine swamp areas in Serbia.
The natural conditions are favorable for many rare plant and animal species, such as greater spearwort (Ranunculus lingua), water violet (Hottonia palustris), marsh nettle (Urtica kioviensis), freshwater sponge (Spongilla lacustris), a rare species of oligochaete (Rynchelmnis limnosela), Danube crested newt (Triturus dobrogicus), ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) as well as otter (Lutra lutra) and beaver (Castor fiber). It is also the only habitat of the mudminnow, Umbra krameri, in Serbia. Traditional grazing and cattle breeding, particularly of autochthonous races, along with the several centuries’ long usage of the area, supports the maintenance of grassland habitats within the Reserve. Zasavica has inspired many legends and myths, and it is woven into the cultural being of the people. Some photographs of the site can be seen here. [25/06/08]
Wings Over Wetlands training workshop in Jordan. The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project set out in 2006 with the broad aim to improve and conserve healthy and viable populations of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds through identifying and conserving critical wetland areas and building local professional capacity. Funded largely by UNDP-GEF, the project lead implementers include Wetlands International and BirdLife International and it operates in close coordination with the Secretariats of Ramsar and UNEP/AEWA as well as UNEP-WCMC. A workshop held in Amman, Jordan, 9-16 June 2008, was the near-final step in the development of the Training and Awareness component of the WOW project, and Sandra Hails has prepared this illustrated report. [25/06/08]
First meeting of Ramsar site managers in Switzerland. On 15 March 2008, the Fondation des Grangettes (managing Ramsar site N° 504 Les Grangettes on Lake Geneva) hosted a meeting of Ramsar site managers in Switzerland and nearby France in the small town of Villeneuve at the edge of the Ramsar site. This was a first and very successful event, based on the reflections of the Swiss Ramsar Administrative Authority (the Federal Office of the Environment) about practical ways to improve Ramsar contacts at national level. [23/06/08]
USA adds 24th Ramsar site. The Secretariat is delighted to announce that the well-known Olentangy research wetland in the US state of Ohio has been designated by the United States as its 24th Wetland of International Importance, effective 18 April 2008. As described by Ramsar’s Mila Llorens, based on the exemplary Ramsar Information Sheet, Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park(21 hectares, 40º01’N 083º01’W) is a complex of created and natural freshwater riverine wetlands located on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The wetlands include freshwater, tree-dominated wetlands, permanent rivers/streams/creeks, seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes, and permanent freshwater marshes. It is a unique combination of 1) a biologically diverse assemblage of different wetland and riverine habitats both representative and unique to the region; 2) high-quality university teaching, research, and publishing related specifically to wetland ecology and management; and 3) significant wetland ecotourism and outreach for an urban community where few wetlands remain.
As a result of wetland creation, restoration, and sound management, the ORWRP has developed into a diverse set of habitats and vegetated ecosystems comparable to any similar-sized temperate zone wetland. The site has supported almost 160 bird species, diverse fish and invertebrate communities in the river and marshes, and a wide variety of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, all in an urban region of 1.6 million people. The ORWRP is one of only two wetland research facilities in the USA in the Global Wetland Consortium (GWC). The Olentangy park Web site is presently featuring the new Ramsar site certificate on its front page (http://swamp.osu.edu). [20/06/08]
Ramsar COP10 pre-registration is open. Basic information sheets on the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties are now being mailed out to the Parties and are available on the Ramsar Web site in English, French, and Spanish – these cover a summary of all key topics and sheets on travel within Korea, accommodations, visa information, side events, exhibitions, excursions, and a special exhibition of children’s artworks. All of these are now going out to the Administrative Authorities (Ramsar national focal points) in the Parties by normal post as well.
An on-line pre-registration facility is available, also in English, French, and Spanish – Adminstrative Authorities have been sent a password that will allow them to pre-register directly, which should arrive in the post within a week from now, and all others have the opportunity to submit a request form to be given a password. Observers from recognized organizations working in the field of the conservation and wise use of wetlands are normally welcome at the COP and will be confirmed by our regional staff after their requests have been received.
Much of the COP agenda documentation, especially the draft Resolutions, will begin appearing on the site as well within the next week or so. National Reports submitted to the COP by the Parties and the results of the regional COP preparatory meetings are also available in the same place. [20/06/08]
Now available.6th European Ramsar Meeting. The 6th European Ramsar Meeting was hosted by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in Stockholm, Sweden, 3-7 May 2008. It provided a great opportunity to actively discuss the new millennium challenges for wetland conservation, look into operational procedures of the Convention, and prepare for the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10), to be held in Changwon on 28 October-4 November 2008. It was attended by 109 participants representing 37 Contracting Parties in the European Region, six intergovernmental organizations, three of Ramsar’s five International Organization Partners, seven other organizations, and two invited Ramsar experts. The final report is now ready and available (PDF), together with the final list of participants, agenda, supporting documents and and a page of photographs right here. [19/06/08]
Le rapport de la 6e réunion européenne Ramsar est disponible. La 6e réunion européenne Ramsar était l'hôte de l'Agence suédoise de protection de l'environnement, à Stockholm, Suède, du 3 au 7 mai 2008. Ce fut une excellente occasion de discuter activement des nouveaux enjeux du millénaire pour la conservation des zones humides, d'examiner les procédures de fonctionnement de la Convention et de préparer la 10e Session de la Conférence des Parties contractantes (COP10) qui aura lieu à Changwon, Corée, du 28 octobre au 4 novembre 2008. À cette réunion, 109 participants représentaient 37 Parties contractantes de la Région Europe, six organisations intergouvernementales, trois des cinq Organisations internationales partenaires de Ramsar et sept autres organisations. Il y avait aussi deux experts Ramsar invités. Le rapport final est prêt et disponible (PDF) avec la liste finale des participants, l'ordre du jour, les documents d'appui et une page de photographies à l'adresse: ici.
Winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards. The Standing Committee has announced the winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards for 2008. In the science category, the Award goes to Dave Pritchard; in the management category, to Denis Landenbergue, WWF International; and in the education category, to Dr Sansanee Choowaew of Mahidol University, Thailand. In addition, the Recognition of Excellence was awarded to Dr Jan Květ of the Czech Republic. Full descriptions of the reasons for these choices can be found here. The three Ramsar Awards, with the Evian Special Prize fo USD 10,000 for each, will be conferred at the opening of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in the Republic of Korea in October 2008. [05/06/08]